We flew to Illinois to visit family. The Great-Grandma would be visiting from Vegas, so one of the new great-grandsons flew to where the other was and all gathered for Chinese. Bubbie (Great-Grandma) both doted on and “ach”-ed (that’s “tsk” in Eastern European languages) over Salamander’s being skinny. It hurt. It hurt to feel ‘different’ for breastfeeding when no one else in my family ever had; and it hurt to feel like a failure for not producing a roly-poly baby, to rival the first great-grandson – who was only 6 months older, from my milk. I grew a handful of positive outcomes from the seeds of feeling shitty in the presence of my family that time: I wrote about it. I wrote advocating for breast fed babies and encouraging the mothers to endure and persevere at it. I defended myself against feeling hurt and lost by being even more vocal and demonstrative to my family around my knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding and my right to do it any where. The wind blew, and I stared it down; that’s how I do.
What I wouldn’t have known until later was why it was so hard and painful. I wasn’t awake to the shit I was living yet, and how damaging raising a firstborn son in a home with constant animosity could be.
I’m used to being implicitly loved and basically supported by my family. #Blessed It didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t have more of the same with the man who asked me to marry him, stay with him no matter what, and mother children with him.
At Salamander’s six month mark we were half way through our first year as parents. We were close to one year of living together. Salamander was a happy and healthy baby and wouldn’t be “too” skinny for much longer. People remarked on his looks constantly. It was strange and satisfying.
How I was doing.